Yesterday, (only yesterday!), I mentioned that I had been asked to make a quilt for a very lovely lady I had cyber-met through Instagram. It was perfect timing as I was off to the Festival of Quilts and so Nicki gave me a great excuse for some fabric shopping. I'm sure any of you crafters out there will agree with me that whatever project you start on and however much fabric you have, there aways seems to be something else you just need!
As I always do when somebody asks me to make a quilt for them, I ran through the possible designs and fabric options with Nicki. I think the original brief was white with pink and red and Nicki liked the idea of different sized squares for a classic, vintage-styled patchwork quilt. I'd had the benefit of peeping into Nicki's world via Instagram which helped me understand her style a little better. I don't think she'll mind me sharing that she lives in a very pretty cottage in the country and has a penchant for the colour ivory with indeed pink and red, and is a fan of Cabbages and Roses style. I had seen in a few shots, a vintage eidy which Nicki has and loves. It has a pale background with those pinky red flowers. When I asked Nicki if this was the sort of thing she'd have in mind for her quilt, rather than blocks of colour, she said yes. So far, so good.
Back from the Festival, I couldn't wait to get at all those yummy fabrics and start adding to them from my stash. This was my initial selection. Most stayed, a few went.
Nicki agreed that it would be nice to add in some vintage. No problem because I just happen to have a little bit of that, too.
I set to with the rotary cutter and the next day, was happily piecing blocks together. That's my favourite bit of the quilt making process. I could happily make tops all day long! I rigged up my makeshift design board in the guest room and was pleased with how the top started to come together. As you can see, it was a little different in style for me, away from my usual exuberant colour palette I guess. That was great, nice to be challenged and exercise the grey matter a little every now and then.
And so the quilt top and I proceeded up the stairs to my quilting lair and we got on with making the quilt sandwich. As you can see, I use a table tennis table because making so many quilts and basting them on hard wooden floors was no good for my back. Ouch.
Firing up the beast, I got quilting, just simply, outlining all the seam lines a quarter inch either side. I'm not a fan of loads of swirly quilting and luckily, Nicki agreed, too.
After an early morning start, the quilting was finished and I found, to my delight, that the Munchkin (on Summer Holidays) had his uses. De-pinning. Off I went downstairs for a very late breakfast. Well, I suppose it was an early lunch?
So after all the hard work, I could look forward to sitting down with my feet up and hand sewing the binding. Somebody on Instagram asked me why I hand sew it. Well, it's traditional to do it that way and although some people now machine sew it, I am not a fan and I think you can't beat the look of a hand-stitched binding. After all those hours selecting fabric, cutting, piecing, sandwiching and quilting, I'm not going to mind four hours hand sewing the binding. We watched Carrie's War, and very enjoyable it was, too!
Oooh, might I digress a little? Whilst we were away in the hols, we went to a sort of collectors'/flea market in Bakewell. I found a pretty old tin there, £4, and home it came. It was the perfect size to house a little "on-the-go" sewing kit. I gave it a clean and lined it with some pretty scented Cath K drawer liners. I added a few pretty paper bits to the lid (the main image copied from the original Make Do and Mend wartime pamphlet). Tidy.
And so it was finished and the lovely Summer weather we've enjoyed, afforded me an immediate washing line opportunity.
I'm really pleased with how this quilt turned out and well, I wouldn't have minded hanging onto it!
It was lovely to make because I could post progress pictures on Instagram as I went along and be bolstered by the oohs and aahs of Nicki and her friends who know her taste better than I do.
Nicki didn't have a name in mind for the quilt and for some reason, "Tranquil Rose Garden" came to me. I think it's a very restful quilt to look at, joyfully soft and cosy to cuddle up in and well, it's definitely rosy!
I bundled it up and sent it on its way to Nicki.
It's a quilt I'll remember for being a joy to make and in turn, making me new friends out there in the big wide world. It's not so big after all, it seems.
(Just to say, if you fancy a go at patchwork and quilting yourself, and are able to get to South London, the marvellous Stag and Bow have just released their latest workshop timetable and yours truly will be teaching P&Q over three consecutive Tuesday evenings in October. Ooh, that's next month. Exciting!)